Casual Games Guru Goes to Blizzard

Casual Games Guru Goes to Blizzard

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Greg Canessa, VP of video game platforms at casual games behemoth PopCap, has left the company to go work for an entirely different titan - Warcraft developers Blizzard Entertainment.

The move is a radical shift for Canessa, who spent seven years prior to his time at PopCap as the group manager for Microsoft's Xbox Live - what would eventually become Xbox Live Arcade. Like PopCap, XBLA focuses on "casual" titles that are easy to pick up and play, meant for 15-minute play sessions instead of multi-hour marathons (...usually.)

So what's he doing over at a studio reowned for its multi-million-dollar hardcore blockbusters? Our colleagues at Joystiq wonder if he could be working on bringing Bookworm to World of Warcraft, thereby completing the unholy fusion of PopCap's main trinity - Bookworm, Bejeweled, and Peggle - with the world's most popular MMORPG. A frightening concept, to be sure.

Or, on the other hand, he could be there to help staff Blizzard's mysterious fifth "unannounced project." Why bring a casual games stalwart on board if you're not planning on using his expertise for, y'know, casual games? It would make no sense to put him on the design team for a game like WoW, StarCraft II, or Diablo III.

Now, no one's saying that this is evidence that Blizzard's fifth project is going to suddenly turn out to be a casual game a la PopCap, but ... it's enough to make one think, isn't it?

(Gamasutra)

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Plants vs. Murlocs. Mark my words.

Susan Arendt:
Plants vs. Murlocs. Mark my words.

Dude, I'd play it.

Funny how tower defense went from being an underground game played on RTS games to flash games and now has hit the casual market where square enix and pop cap are trying to make money. Yes for the record, I did buy both.

Lost Vikings! Please be Lost Vikings!

He's probably there just to design some mini games to be implemented within WoW or the new mmo whatever that will be.

My god.

It's the end of the world.

So correct me if I'm wrong, but from the Gamasutra article and the statement from PopCap it sounds like this guy's responsibilities at PopCap revolved around games for other platforms besides PCs. It seems possible to me that Blizzard is hiring him, not so they can make casual games, but so they can make the jump to consoles. It would be a logical direction for them to grow in, since consoles have become such a big market recently and their presence there is nil.

Oh god no.

Blizzard are good at what they do, RTS/RPG. They can't make cool little casual games the same way PopCap can. It zill vuck.

The thing with blizzard is that they are used to the large compacity Desktops have inorder for them to make games with mass content. So for them to lump down to Console would one: be a jump down not up. And two: they would have to rethink how there games work inrorder to keep that Blizzard flare all of there games have.

shMerker:
So correct me if I'm wrong, but from the Gamasutra article and the statement from PopCap it sounds like this guy's responsibilities at PopCap revolved around games for other platforms besides PCs. It seems possible to me that Blizzard is hiring him, not so they can make casual games, but so they can make the jump to consoles. It would be a logical direction for them to grow in, since consoles have become such a big market recently and their presence there is nil.

I refer to you the case of Starcraft for the PC and Starcraft 64 for the N64. Which one is currently an E-sport and has a large and active community and which one did you probably hear about for the first time in this topic? Blizzard likes sustainable markets(PC) not ones that get completely overhauled every 5 years.

I'm aware of Star Craft 64. I don't remember anyone ever saying anything positive about it, even when it was new. It was one of the games that helped create the conventional wisdom that RTS games don't work on consoles. Something tells me that the obsolescence of the N64 is only part of why nobody plays it any more. I would guess that the availability of a better version of the game Maybe you've heard of a game called Super Mario Bros. which is still played today despite four "complete overhauls" of the console market? There is such a thing as an evergreen console title.

At any rate I didn't mean ports of existing games precisely because of games like Star Craft 64 demonstrating how badly that can go. Also, even if a console game has a shelf life of about five years (It doesn't. the five year generation is a myth and software from previous generations is constantly being re-released with little or no development cost for IP holders, much like how Blizzard can continue pressing discs of their classics) that doesn't mean it's not worth devoting some development resources to.

I'm going to point out something many of you may be thinking, but everyone is too afraid to say.

Activision brought him in to make Diablo 3 more casual friendly, to cater to the PC gamers.

Indigo_Dingo:
I'm going to point out something many of you may be thinking, but everyone is too afraid to say.

Activision brought him in to make Diablo 3 more casual friendly, to cater to the PC gamers.

Dude, no one was thinking that. You are like the only one.

Diablo 3 =/= the sort of games this guy works on. And Activision has little to no say in the matter.

CantFaketheFunk:

Indigo_Dingo:
I'm going to point out something many of you may be thinking, but everyone is too afraid to say.

Activision brought him in to make Diablo 3 more casual friendly, to cater to the PC gamers.

Dude, no one was thinking that. You are like the only one.

Diablo 3 =/= the sort of games this guy works on. And Activision has little to no say in the matter.

Keep telling yourself that.

Indigo_Dingo:

CantFaketheFunk:

Indigo_Dingo:
I'm going to point out something many of you may be thinking, but everyone is too afraid to say.

Activision brought him in to make Diablo 3 more casual friendly, to cater to the PC gamers.

Dude, no one was thinking that. You are like the only one.

Diablo 3 =/= the sort of games this guy works on. And Activision has little to no say in the matter.

Keep telling yourself that.

Which part? :P I'm pretty sure you are the ONLY person thinking that Blizzard wants Diablo III to be more like Peggle.

CantFaketheFunk:

Indigo_Dingo:

CantFaketheFunk:

Indigo_Dingo:
I'm going to point out something many of you may be thinking, but everyone is too afraid to say.

Activision brought him in to make Diablo 3 more casual friendly, to cater to the PC gamers.

Dude, no one was thinking that. You are like the only one.

Diablo 3 =/= the sort of games this guy works on. And Activision has little to no say in the matter.

Keep telling yourself that.

Which part? :P I'm pretty sure you are the ONLY person thinking that Blizzard wants Diablo III to be more like Peggle.

Agreed.
Blizzard isn't shooting itself in the foot just to appease Indigo's ego and gaming preferances.

Pi_Fighter:

CantFaketheFunk:

Indigo_Dingo:

CantFaketheFunk:

Indigo_Dingo:
I'm going to point out something many of you may be thinking, but everyone is too afraid to say.

Activision brought him in to make Diablo 3 more casual friendly, to cater to the PC gamers.

Dude, no one was thinking that. You are like the only one.

Diablo 3 =/= the sort of games this guy works on. And Activision has little to no say in the matter.

Keep telling yourself that.

Which part? :P I'm pretty sure you are the ONLY person thinking that Blizzard wants Diablo III to be more like Peggle.

Agreed.
Blizzard isn't shooting itself in the foot just to appease Indigo's ego and gaming preferances.

How is this my Ego? I'm just pointing out that with the insidious hand of Activision in this, we can't rule out some prospects.

Indigo_Dingo:

Pi_Fighter:
Agreed.
Blizzard isn't shooting itself in the foot just to appease Indigo's ego and gaming preferances.

How is this my Ego? I'm just pointing out that with the insidious hand of Activision in this, we can't rule out some prospects.

Keep telling yourself that.

Note the capitalisation of "Ego"...

If we can't rule out your stated possibility, we can't rule out mine.
This is all an insidious plot to overthrow the console domination of the gaming market by making World of Warcraft more easily accessible to casual gamers and console fetishists who decry the pc as a means for gaming at every oportunity. Soon every WoW player will be using a vomit-inducingly cute animal as their avatar.

It is the end of gaming as we know it.

Activision knows not what it does; compassion is as much a vain attempt at dissuasion as random spite filled comments buried so far in the internet that the possibility of them making an impact is defined by a notional zero.

 

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